Super Bowl Sunday is only days away and for some gridiron gurus, the best way to celebrate the big game is watching it on a brand-new big screen television.
Late January is actually a great time to buy a new television and many consumers do just that.
According to a recent NerdWallet survey, 17% of Americans plan on buying a new television for this year’s Super Bowl. Retailers know this and are providing steep discounts on digitally-enhanced big screen TVs, especially model sizes between 49 inches and 65 inches.
“Super Bowl season is a great time to get a new TV and get a good deal because after the holidays, retailers are often marking down merchandise leftover from the holidays,” says Deacon Hayes, founder of the web site Well Kept Wallet. “Plus, since new TV models are typically released in the spring, retailers need to make space in their inventory for the new models, thus they often discount the ones they have in stock.”
With 2019 models needing to be moved so 2020 models have center stage, last year’s TVs are now seeing some substantial markdowns. - which makes late January and early February a “perfect storm” for new television buyers.
“If you're shopping for a Super Bowl TV at the very last minute, the next week will boast a few notable deals,” says Michael Bonebright, an analyst at DealNews.com. “In 2019, we saw several LG 55-inch, 65-inch, and 75-inch 4K televisions at low prices from Dell, (DELL) - Get Report eBay, (EBAY) - Get Report MicroCenter, and Rakuten.”
According to Bonebright, smart shoppers know they may have to dig deep for the best deal, but the best deal is definitely out there.
“You'll have more luck buying a Super Bowl-worthy TV if you start shopping as soon as possible,” Bonebright says. “Retailers like Walmart (WMT) - Get Report, Amazon (AMZN) - Get Report, and Target (TGT) - Get Report have all been hosting TV sales that take up to 50% off select sets recently.”
For consumers interested in the still-new QLED screen technology from brands like Samsung, Amazon seems to be the best bet at the moment. “Don't waste any time though; we don't expect those sales to last until the end of January,” Bonebright adds.
If you're not worried about getting a brand-name TV with the latest technological bells and whistles, Walmart has been discounting 65-inch screens to around $400 in recent days. “If you do opt for a cheaper TV, be sure to set aside around $200 for a decent sound bar - most low-end and even mid-tier TVs have abysmal speakers,” he adds.
Tips on Getting the Best TV Deal Before Super Sunday
Before you whip out your credit card and settle on a new TV, make sure you do your due diligence first. Like with any big-ticket purchase, being prepared and having a goal in mind leads to the best TV purchasing outcomes
Get that program rolling with these tips:
1. Have a Checklist
Build a “to do” list before you start your Super Bowl big screen campaign. Identify the features you want in a new TV (like sound system and next-level smart television technology, for example. Narrow your options down to three or four TVs, then start comparing prices.
2. Sign Up for Alerts
Most big retailers have “alert” programs that notify you when a preferred television is being discounted. For a more comprehensive alert list, use a site like Deal News that covers more ground, with a wider array of set options and prices.
3. Stay Ahead of Technology
While you don’t have to buy a new television with next-generation 8K resolution (they’re highly expensive right now and sets that do have 8K have it in limited programming) you do want to buy a set that features at least 4K resolution. That puts you in the technology sweet spot for future-proofing your new television, thus making it more sustainable over the next half dozen years or so.
4. Be Realistic on Price
You’re not going to get a quality 4K TV at $300 or less. For a quality 55-inch 4k television, expect to pay in the $400 to $500 range. If you’re diligent, you may do better, but having a realistic pricing objective will make it easier to pull the trigger before Super Sunday.
5. Leave Budgeting Room for a Sound Bar
Unfortunately, mass production of big-screen televisions even those with sophisticated “smart” features, has led to most sets having less than spectacular sound systems (making TVs so thin has also reduced sound quality.) Your best move here is to buy a sound bar separately (a good one goes for between $100 and $300 at Walmart.)
6. Don’t Fall for the Warranty Gambit
Yes, you’ll likely be asked to include a warranty on your new television, but don’t fall for it. Not only will a warranty add a lot more to the purchase price (they can go for between $300 and $400 for a three-year warranty at a major retailer), your credit card likely already has a warranty protection feature. Check with your card provider to be sure before you buy.
Plus, most problems happen in the first year when you’re still covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. “If you use a credit card with warranty protection, you can extend coverage for an additional year,” says Regina Conway, consumer expert with Slickdeals.net. “Some credit cards offer both warranty coverage and price protection."
7. Check for Distance
The appeal of a large TV at a great price may make it hard to pass up, but it’s a good idea to research viewing distances and get a TV that best fits your space, Conway says. “For instance, for a 65-inch set, the recommended viewing distance is anywhere from 5.5 to 10.8 feet,” she says.
8. Review Return Policies Carefully Before You Buy
“Some stores won’t pay for return shipping and in other cases, some deduct a restocking fee,” Conway adds. “Make sure you know what your options are, and how much it will cost you, if you end up needing to return your purchase.”